I’ve seen a bumper sticker that says, “What would Atticus do?”—a tribute to Atticus Finch, the saintly lawyer in To Kill a Mockingbird. Having finished watching (via Netflix) six seasons of the BBC TV series Foyle’s War, I’m ready to slap on a “What would Christopher Foyle do?” sticker.
Though some of his admirers may find it difficult to believe now, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was not widely known in the years immediately following World War II, save perhaps as one of a band of courageous pastors and theologians in Germany who resisted the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler.
Faith, unlike religion, is ready to confess its radical incompleteness and insufficiency--indeed, its brokenness.
I have returned again and again to Letters and Papers in search of insight into what it means to do theology today, especially in my own South African context. Whether my interest and inquiry has focused on theological issues, on the renewal of the church and its public responsibility or on history, literature, art and aesthetics, this remarkable collection has always provided much practical wisdom for people living in tough and uncertain times.
Given the tendency of evangelicals and liberals to focus on different parts of Bonhoeffer's theology and witness, the challenge is to transcend polarization. But for Metaxas, polarization is a structural motif: his mission is to reclaim the true Bonhoeffer from "liberals" who have "hijacked" him.